ACI, ASTM reinforce Building Safety Month

Two months of safety advisory overload have helped curtail negligible to fatal respiratory infection. A shorter window of critical safety advice prevails in May with backing from the American Concrete Institute and other advocates for building integrity and occupant or public wellbeing. Of all organizations serving architecture/engineering/construction, ACI is uniquely qualified to champion “Safer Buildings, Safer Communities, Safer World,” the theme of the International Code Council’s-designated Building Safety Month.

ICC designates four weeks of May by “Disaster Preparedness,” “Water Safety,” “Resiliency, Sustainability, Innovation,” and “Training the Next Generation.” ACI and fellow sponsors will help the Council advance these messages and stress modern building codes’ role in creating safer and more resilient communities.

Places of residence are no longer simply family living spaces, ICC notes: They’ve taken on the role of extended work, school, fitness and entertainment centers. With a greater demand to create safe cities of the future, moreover, buildings need to account for increased capacity, dangers from natural disasters and resource shortages, and a wide range of public safety concerns.

Building Safety Month provides homeowners, commercial development stakeholders, government officials and the public information to ensure safety in living, working and learning spaces. “As we face new and unprecedented challenges, it becomes imperative that our building codes and standards are planned with an eye toward the future,” says ICC Senior Vice President of Government Relations Sara Yerkes. “With people spending more time indoors, creating safe, reliable and healthy buildings has never been more important. Our goal through Building Safety Month is to bring attention to the effectiveness of modern codes and the code officials who maintain them.”

“In difficult times, like our current pandemic, code officials remain essential to keeping us safe and protected within the buildings we spend most of our time,” adds ICC Board President Greg Wheeler. “Safe building will always be important.”

Safe building methods, likewise, will always hinge on proven material and structural assembly testing standards. Enter ASTM International, alongside ACI, to lend support and credibility to Building Safety Month. The Society is sponsoring a webinar series to support the “Disaster Preparedness” and “Water Safety” Weeks. Presentations on Hurricane Windborne Debris and Infrastructure Management—and their connection to ASTM E1886, E1996 and E3210 standards—highlight a Society commitment consistent with Building Safety Month goals.

“ASTM and the global construction industry have long partnered to promote progress and innovation in building homes, offices, and other facilities worldwide,” affirms ASTM Director of External Relations Jim Olshefsky. “Increases in severe weather events and changing climate conditions have underscored the need for resilient construction and increased use of codes and standards to protect citizens from disasters.”

ASTM and ACI bring “Safer Buildings, Safer Communities, Safer World” credibility earned over a century of guidance based on consensus processes, peer review and engineering or scientific discipline. Both are proven sources of best practices for the safest building materials and methods.

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